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Original Research

Determinants of Weaning Practices Among Mothers of Infants Aged Below 12 Months in Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Authors:

Laston Gonah ,

Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe
About Laston
MPH
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Julia Mutambara

Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe
About Julia
PhD
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Abstract

Background

Poor weaning practices have been reported to contribute to high infant mortality and morbidity rates especially in developing countries.

Objectives

This study sought to determine factors related to weaning that predispose, reinforce and enable mothers of infants younger than age 12 months to comply or not to comply with the World Health Organization (WHO) 2009 guidelines on appropriate infant feeding.

Methods

The present study was a descriptive cross-sectional study. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on weaning and infant feeding practices from a sample of 300 mothers of infants aged younger than 12 months, resident in the Rujeko community, and registered and seen at the Rujeko Council Clinic during the study time.

Findings

The study results indicated that noncompliance with WHO infant feeding guidelines was high among the study participants. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months was very low (14.8%), with the mean age of introduction of complementary foods to infants of 5 weeks (range 1-24 weeks). Early supplementation of breast milk was not associated with mother’s age, level of education, and religion. Scheduled breastfeeding was more prevalent among the mothers who worked outside the home (P = .018). Provision of formal advice and influence from health care workers was found to improve young child feeding and weaning practices among mothers (P = .011).

Conclusions

Various weaning methods were used, and mothers identified numerous factors as impeding their efforts to follow proper breastfeeding practices. The findings highlight the need to develop personal skills among mothers to prepare nutritionally balanced diets.

How to Cite: Gonah, L. and Mutambara, J., 2017. Determinants of Weaning Practices Among Mothers of Infants Aged Below 12 Months in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. Annals of Global Health, 82(5), pp.875–884. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2016.10.006
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Published on 08 Mar 2017.
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